Lesley's learning journey, 14th January 2013
Hacking through the undergrowth of the MOOC
Cloud created by:
14 January 2013
The more I look at this MOOC, the more I think it really is a multi-user, hybrid PLE/VLE, particularly when the organisers use terms like, 'semi-structured' and 'project-based' in relation to the activities within the environment. And the more I think that, the more I realise that I've been running something similar to this for years, but on a much, much smaller basis. Who knew?!
In what form, you may ask? Well, virtual conference strands using a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous tools (discussion lists, audiographics, text chat, wiki, blog, live blog, social networking etc.), and, more recently, I've been desiging learnng activities using a range of tools (streamed and recorded events with remote audience participation, audiographics, discussion list, wiki and collaborative blog) to ensure inclusivity. While many rush towards the synchronous solution, this can be difficult for geographically widespread participants living in different timezones and/or for those who don't have the technology to participate in audio or video-conferencing; the mixture increases access, though I'm still working on improving accessibility.
Why am I pondering on this? Well, because we've been reminded of the importance of posting to the 'right' place, and, as Yishay said, if that doesn't happen, the whole thing can turn into, 'a huge pile of spaghetti'.
This got me thinking: how do we avoid the spaghetti? Is it possible to predict where participants may become confused? If my experience is anything to go by, once you've done something like this a few times, it really is possible to make such predictions and to head 'em off at the pass (even though some people always do something totally unexpected, but you can't cater for the unexpected!) Certainly, I'm very used to people asking, 'But what's the point of using ?' and the next time I run my 'hybrid' or 'inclusive' acivity, I'm going to provide:
- a (clickable) map of the environment (something to download, something for the website)
- an 'instruction manual' (rather than including separate instructions for each tool and an outline of the (very loosely structured) activity)